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Hard Drive Possibly Failing? How Can You Tell?


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#1 kansasblonde

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:41 PM

Hello,
I'm wondering if there is any way to tell if a hard drive is going out by making a strange sound? My computer was making a a noise that started a few months ago. At first, it was off and on and wasn't very loud. It sounds like it's 'switching gears'....like reving up and then backing off... hard to explain :trumpet: I had asked a few people who are much more computer literate than myself and I was told by each of them that it sounded like a power supply fan going out. I learned that you cannot (easily, anyway) replace just the fan and it would be best to replace the entire power supply. I took it to a repair shop (one I used about a year ago when I upgraded with a larger hard drive). He replaced the power supply. End of story, or so I thought. :thumbsup:
Well, I brought it home and set it all back up again, turned it on....and yup...you got it... STILL MAKING THAT SAME NOISE!!! :inlove: :cool:
After spending $130.00 to get the problem fixed, needless to say, I'm not a happy camper, so I called the tech and told him about the problem. He told me "the fan has variable speeds, so I will hear it change sounds sometimes" and not to worry about it. :)
Let me tell you, sometimes, it gets SO loud I can hear it off in the other room. Could someone please tell me what I need to do next....or if this dude is right and it's "normal" for it to make this sound that gets so loud it's rediculous? My fear is that one of my hard drives are going out and I do not want to lose everything. I have backed up important files, but some of the programs on it I can longer get, as my house was hit by a tornado and I lost a lot of my old software.

The computer is an HP Pavillion, sorry I forgot to mention that before.
Thank you in advance for your help :flowers:
blondie

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#2 trevorveasey

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:41 PM

You said that you have a new hard drive? If so, Sounds like you have a raddle! Had one in mine, it was the piece of casing that you can remove. I just put in a tiny piece of paper and it was quiet as a mouse.
Trevor

#3 madman6510

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:42 PM

It could possibly be one of the other cooling fans.

Turn your PC off, take the cover off, and find the wire from the fans and see where they plug into the motherboard. Turn it back on, and if it's still making noises, try it with another fan. If it's still making noises after you've checked the fans, post back here and I'll try to help you from there. :thumbsup:

#4 dc3

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 03:19 AM

Hi Blondie, If you open the case and take a long handled wood or plastic cooking spoon and hold the spoon end to your ear and place the other end on the hdd or PSU you should be able to identify where the noise is coming from.

While you have the case open take a quick look at the insides for accumulated dust, look at the areas where air is pulled into the computer, if this becomes restricted by dust and pet fur the fan could be compensating for the lack of normal circulation inside the case.

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#5 usasma

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:44 PM

Here's a lnk to hard drive sounds: http://www.hitachigst.com/hddt/knowtree.ns...0c?OpenDocument

But, if you can hear it in the other room, it's likely not your hard drive. Nothing beats the wooden spoon trick (from dc3's post) for locating an elusive noise! I've had loud noises that were caused by a wire that was just a hair too close to a fan - moved the wire and no more noise!

Edited by usasma, 29 September 2007 - 07:44 PM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#6 MattV

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:31 PM

Yes, for a hard drive to be heard in another room, it would probably be spraying parts of itself across the room.

Fan-noise problems can be extremely annoying - especially if the computer case acts as a sounding-board and magnifies them. Sounds like the entire machine is about to explode!

A hard drive generally has a service life of six to seven years, so if they're not near that, then they are probably OK (although I don't know what effects a tornado may have on them).

(In addition to finding out which fan is causing the noise, you may also want to look into getting your $130 back.)

#7 WinCrazy

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 11:34 AM

Hi kansasblonde.

You can easily run a hard drive diagnostic from the manufacturer of the drive. Note that the Hitachi DFT diagnostic will work on any IDE hard drive.

You can find them all here:

Seagate/Maxtor/Quantum

Western Digital

Hitachi/IBM

Samsung

Edited by WinCrazy, 30 September 2007 - 11:35 AM.


#8 kansasblonde

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:32 PM

Hey I'm back :flowers: After spending $130.00 to have the power supply/fan changed, I brought my computer back home only to discover that my computer still had the same irritating noise :thumbsup: I called the 'computer tech' that 'fixed' it and told him it was still making that godawful noise. He tried to tell me that it's normal and that the power supply that he put in "had variable speed" so I would hear it change noise-wise. Uh huh.....clear in the other room?? NOT. Sooooo.... I had my Nephew take a look and he immediately knew what it was....the processor fan. Simple dx. He replaced it and now it's fine. Another not too funny thing, that 'computer tech' that gouged me for the money and did not fix my machine, didn't bother cleaning it out. It was filthy dirty inside. He supposedly did diagnostics on it and I know that he didn't. I think I'm going to report him to the better business bureau. I'm really mad...can ya tell? hehe
Anyway, just wanted to let y'all know what the deal was with that noisy crap.
Have a super week!
Blondie




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